VIDEO HIGHLIGHTS: Liverpool V Stoke City, English Premier League 2013-14, Anfield
Saturday 17 Aug 2013 7:21 p.m.
Steven Gerrard and Joe Allen (AAP)
NB: Video on this article has been removed in accordance to international license restrictions.Hello and welcome to Anfield in Liverpool for the opening match of the English Premier League season, it's Liverpool hosting Stoke City.
Finally, we can bring you some football, it's been months of paper talk, players wanting out, and all sorts of gossip, but now we have arrived at season's opening.
Luis Suarez is still banned for a further six games after his suspension for biting Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic.
Stoke City have a new manager at the helm, can Mark Hughes propel this club forward?
We bring you live written commentary, and all the football action.
LIVE COMMENTARY...Liverpool 1-0 Stoke City
Full time That's it! Liverpool open their English Premier League season with a win! And they sit top of the table - who'd have thought!!
90 + 3 Another corner now, they're just holding it down in the corners now. Begovic has it now, lumps it forward.. flick on is straight to Mignolet.
90+2 Closing it out now, surely they'll hold on now? Coutinho shoots!! Deflection, corner.
90 mins Well if there's one way to make friends with the Anfield crowd it's to save a penalty in the 89th minute on debut to hold a lead!! Brilliant.
89 mins SAVED!!! Follow up, SAVED!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!!
88 mins Freekick for Stoke now, Adam will look to launch this into the box. He does HANDBALL!! PENALTY!! STOKE PENALTY!
86 mins Liverpool looking to close it out now.. just knocking it round. Can Stoke create something?
84 mins Great defence from Pieters stops a shot from Henderson, concedes a corner though. Gerrard delivers, and Shawcross puts it out for another corner.
82 mins AUDACIOUS FROM ADAM!! Long range Beckham shot, Mignolet has to go back and tip it over the crossbar.
81 mins Kenwyne Jones on for Peter Crouch
80 mins More pinball in the box and Liverpool go close, but still no second goal.
79 mins Gerrard has a free kick in an enticing position, top shot, but Begovic dives to this top right and saves brilliantly.
77 mins Liverpool come forward, Sturridge smashes across the face of goal, no one there to touch it into the net though. And Stoke come away with it.
74 mins Sturridge has a flash shot, it's a bullet, but it's off the target.
73 mins Sterling on for Aspas now. Liverpool continue to hold possession.
71 mins And there we go, Mignolet saves, but a good shot from Wilson, and shows that Stoke still have some fight in them yet
70 mins I keep saying it, but Liverpool look very comfortable, but at 1-0, who knows? While Liverpool are on top, Stoke are by no means out of this.
68 mins Pinball stuff in the Liverpool box ends in Huth stabbing at goal, Mignolet saved but it wouldn't have counted. The whistle had gone, there was a foul from a Stoke player in there.
66 mins Coutinho delivers a corner now, it's eventually cleared though by Stoke.
64 mins HOW CLOSE IS THAT! Henderson smashes it goal bound, Begovic gets a faint touch, but it's enough to put it onto the inside of the post and away. Henderson was already wheeling away to celebrate!
63 mins Former Reds players, Jermaine Pennant and Charlie Adam coming into the action, with Matthew Etherington and Glenn Whelan departing.
61 mins Sturridge comes away down the left hand flank, he has a shot, but it's from such a tight angle it's easy for Begovic. From the corner Aspas gets his head to the ball, but he puts a few metres wide.
59 mins Liverpool really comfortable here, but at 1-0 they do need another goal. Still have the bulk of possession, and creating all the chances, although there haven't been many in the last five minutes.
57 mins Liverpool playing some great passing football, just lacking that killer touch.
54 mins Not anymore! Sturridge scuffs his shot, it falls to Henderson who has a first time pop at goal and brings the best out of Begovic in goal, great stop.
53 mins Not much happening at the moment, it's all a bit dull at Anfield.
51 mins Stoke bring the ball into Liverpool half, but nothing comes of their rare foray forward. Cameron himself takes a tumble, right over the advertising hoardings and into the crowd.
48 mins Aspas' has the first attempt of the half, his shot goes wide though.
46 mins Back underway at Anfield! And once again it's Liverpool with the ball early.
Halftime That's it! 1-0 Liverpool go into the break leading courtesy of Daniel Sturridge's strike. A great strike it was as well. I'll be back shortly for the second half.
45 + 1 Another corner for Stoke, Cameron gets a touch but it skims off his head and goes well wide.
45 mins Stoke freekick in a decent position, it's swung in, Huth gets his head on it but it glances well wide. Somehow it's called a corner though! And from the resulting set piece, a Stoke player heads goal bound and it's cleared off the line!
44 mins Coutinho has a pop at goal, it's straight at Begovic though and he calmly collects.
42 mins WHAT AN EFFORT! Walters this time with a brilliant first time shot on the turn, Mignolet at full stretch palms it wide for a corner. Great shot, great save.
40 mins Anfield in full voice now, great to hear. Liverpool continue to hold possession here.
38 mins DANIEL STURRIDGE SCORES!! WHAT A HIT! He hasn't missed this time. Sturridge with a brilliant strike from outside the area, left footed across goal and into the bottom corner.
37 mins Sturridge this time! Weaving in and out, before shooting at goal, but Begovic palms away. Liverpool well on top, but Begovic continues to deny them.
35 mins Begovic to the rescue again! Coutinho puts Henderson through on goal, but the midfielders shot is tame and Begovic saves, poor shot, but still a great save.
34 mins Liverpool have it now, and just holding possession, waiting for an opening, very.. can i say it.. Barcelona-esque?
32 mins Luis Suarez comes onto the monitor, he of course has five more matches to serve suspended after today for his biting ban.
31 mins Finally Stoke have some ball inside Liverpool's half, but a wide switch ball to Walters is overcooked and into touch.
29 mins Sturridge coming forward now, oh delightful play from Liverpool! Coutinho comes in from wide, plays it to Aspas who puts a beautiful one touch pass to Enrique who is through on goal. Begovic saves, and Gerrard tries an audacious volley off the rebound but it sails over.
27 mins Stoke just chasing shadows at the moment, they can't get on the ball. Coutinho comes forward yet again, but his touch is heavy and he's dispossessed.
26 mins Again, Coutinho in the thick of it, this time fouled and Liverpool get a freekick. They take it short and Liverpool have possession.
24 mins Coutinho looks really good, as a bit of rain starts to come down at Anfield. His first time shot doesn't faze Begovic in goal, but good signs nonetheless.
23 mins A bit of a midfield battle now, Stoke just enjoying the chance to look after possession.
21 mins Coutinho, superb. Delightfully skips inside one, threads a ball to Aspas but the Spaniard can't quite control it.
20 mins Exciting game, as Crouch has another declined penalty shout. OH! Mignolet's kick is charged down, gee that was close!! Nervy start for the new stopper!
16 mins A bit cold in Liverpool? Brendan Rodgers has put his coat on. Fascinating stuff. Anyway, Liverpool have the ball, they definitely look the dominant team here.. Sturridge is an excitement machine! Johnson delivers a cross, but it's beat away by a Stoke defender.
14 mins What a start in this one!! Kolo Toure hits the crossbar this time!! In swinging corner, Toure out jumps Ryan Shawcross and heads goalwards. Loving this!
12 mins Free kick in a good position, Gerrard swings it in, Sturridge header goal wards and GOAL!!! NO!! Flag's up! And rightfully so! Sturridge was offside, just. Exciting start at Anfield!
10 mins Peter Crouch rattles the cross bar for Stoke!! So close to scoring the first Premier League goal. Now possession is back with Liverpool.
7 mins Sorry for the delay, but you haven't missed anything! As it's still 0-0 at Anfield. Liverpool on attack now, and Kolo Toure has a penalty shout, ref says no, and it's out for a Liverpool corner.
11:25pm Good evening all, as things stand the Test match has 20 minutes left. So we are on track to start on time with our live updates from Anfield. Should things change, we will wait until the rugby is finished before starting commentary, sadly, I don't think Anfield will wait for us so there is a chance we may miss the opening minutes. Apologies in advance.
We will start commentary as soon as the Bledisloe Cup Test finishes, kick off is at 11:45pm.
22. Simon Mignolet, 2. Glen Johnson, 3. Jose Enrique, 4. Kolo Toure, 5. Daniel Agger, 21. Lucas, 14. Jordan Henderson, 8. Steven Gerrard, 10. Coutinho, 15. Daniel Sturridge, 9. Iago Aspas. Subs: 1. Brad Jones, 47. Andre Wisdom, 6. Luis Alberto, 24. Joe Allen, 31. Raheem Sterling 33. Jordan Ibe, 29. Fabio Borini
1. Asmir Begovic, 3. Erik Pieters, 4. Robert Huth, 17. Ryan Shawcross, 20. Geoff Cameron, 6. Glenn Whelan, 8. Wilson Palacios, 15. Steven N'Zonzi, 19. Jonathan Walters, 25. Peter Crouch, 26. Matthew Etherington. Subs: 29. Thomas Sorensen, 5. Marc Muniesa, 12. Marc Wilson, 7. Jermaine Pennant, 16. Charlie Adam, 9. Kenwyne Jones, 33. Cameron Jerome.
Pre match banter:
By Simon Hampton
Ins: Luis Alberto (Sevilla), Iago Aspas (Celta), Simon Mignolet (Sunderland), Kolo Toure (Manchester City)
Outs: Jamie Carragher (retired), Andy Carroll (West Ham), Jonjo Shelvey (Swansea), Jay Spearing (Bolton), Danny Wilson (Hearts), Peter Gulacsi (Red Bull Salzburg), Pepe Reina (Napoli – loan), Stewart Downing (Liverpool)
Key man: Luis Suarez – He's the obvious choice and is the key to any potential success for Liverpool. Regardless of whether he wants out of Anfield, or has now u-turned on that decision, if Liverpool want to even contest for Champions League football once more, they need Suarez in their team and they need him at his best.
Verdict: Suarez aside, it's hard to see where the goals are going to come from, and while Mignolet is a fine keeper, there are still question marks over their defensive setup. They'll finish in the top half but the top four is a step too far.
Last season: 7th Prediction: 6th
Ins: Erik Pieters (PSV Eindhoven), Marc Muniesa (Barcelona), Juan Agudelo (New England – arrives Jan 1)
Outs: Michael Owen (retired), Rory Delap (Burton), Carlo Nash (Norwich), Matthew Upson (Brighton), Dean Whitehead (Middlesbrough), Matthew Lund (Rochdale)
Key man: Marc Muniesa – The Spaniard was a massive prospect coming through the Barcelona academy but he struggled to break into the first team and a six-month injury last season didn't help. A move to Stoke where he should play regularly could do wonders for the 21-year-old, a great signing for the Potters.
Verdict: Stoke sacked Tony Pulis as they didn't think he was the right man to take the club to the next level, thing is, I'm not convinced Mark Hughes is the man to do it. He's got a poor track record in recent years, and while he's inherited a decent squad that will keep them in the Premier League, I don't think it'll be by much.
Last season: 13th Prediction: 17th